Background Check Policy
AYSO Criminal Background Check Policy 2009
AYSO Criminal Background Check Policy
Revised: May, 2009
Since January 1, 2001, all American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) Regions, Areas, and Sections are required to comply with the AYSO policy on criminal background checks. AYSO acts as the criminal background requesting entity unless specific arrangements have been approved in writing by the AYSO National Executive Director.
Any person wishing to volunteer in AYSO is subject to a criminal background check, with a strong focus on the following:
- Coaches of sports teams
- Assistant coaches of sports teams
- Officers, board members, and staff who lead or organize children's activities
Any person wishing to volunteer in AYSO must complete an AYSO volunteer application form each year, either online or by using the hard copy form, and submit a signed copy to the region. The application form includes a Criminal Background Check Release. All requested information must be provided by the applicant, including Social Security number, driver license number (or other state issued photo I.D. if the applicant does not drive) and date of birth.
The Region must send the original copy of all such volunteer applications to the Safe Haven™ Department at the National Support & Training Center (NSTC) in Hawthorne, CA in a timely fashion such that the most sensitive criminal background checks can be completed prior to the start of any playing season.
Criminal background checks are performed on an ongoing basis throughout the year. The responses on the AYSO Volunteer Application Form may target certain individuals for automatic background checks.
Each Region must designate at least one person as the Child and Volunteer Protection Advocate (CVPA) who must act as the liaison between the Region and AYSO for purposes of enacting this policy.
To ensure compliance with all applicable laws, the AYSO Safe Haven™ staff members at the National Support & Training Center in Hawthorne, CA are the only people authorized to initiate, review or have access to criminal background reports (unless sanctioned in writing by the National Executive Director). In all cases, the results of any criminal background check must be kept strictly confidential. These reports must be kept in a locked, secure location, for a period as indicated by applicable law or until the person is no longer a volunteer, whichever is later.
The Notice of Duty to Review Criminal Record process is initiated by the Safe Haven™ Department of AYSO. When a negative determination is made, a copy of the criminal conviction report received by the Safe Haven Department must be sent to that volunteer applicant in an envelope marked “Confidential - to be opened by addressee only,” along with the Notice of Duty to Review Criminal Record cover letter.
If a conviction is disclosed or discovered, AYSO Safe Haven™ Staff must make a decision on whether or not the applicant may be used based on the following guidelines and partial Table of Convictions and advise the region of its decision. As used in this policy, the term conviction refers to a conviction entered after a trial, after a guilty plea or after a plea of no contest/nolo contendere.
Any application form that does not contain honest answers or that misrepresents the number, type or gravity of any such conviction(s) will not be approved irrespective of the nature of the offense or the time that has transpired since the conviction.
Any individual on probation or required to complete a court ordered rehabilitation or other such program following a conviction for a crime appearing on the Table of Convictions will not be considered to serve as a volunteer until all terms and conditions established by the court have been satisfied and proof of completion submitted to AYSO.
Any person convicted of a crime against or otherwise involving a minor at any time in the past will not be approved to be a volunteer.
Most felony convictions will result in a negative determination. Evidence of multiple convictions, either felony or misdemeanor, are likely to also result in a negative determination. Where a conviction is remote in time or where the applicant’s conduct since the conviction(s) indicates rehabilitation or lack of risk to the membership and the program, some leeway may be provided, but only with the concurrence of the RC and CVPA.
Persons convicted of a crime of violence or other serious crime against a person (including major sex offenses) within the prior 20 years should be disqualified from any position listed in policy paragraph #1 above.
Persons convicted of a theft related crime or fraud within the prior 15 years should be disqualified from any position involving the handling of funds or property.
Persons convicted of a serious substance abuse crime within the past 10 years should be disqualified from any coaching position or any position that leads children's activities.
Persons convicted of less serious crimes of violence, substance abuse or one of the listed miscellaneous crimes within the past 5 years should be disqualified from any coaching position or any position that leads children's activities.
DUI: Persons convicted of driving while under the influence within the preceding 3 years will be disqualified form holding the position of team coach or assistant coach. Persons convicted of driving under the influence within the preceding 3 years may be accepted for other volunteer positions with the understanding that they are prohibited from driving any child or AYSO volunteer other than immediate family members to or from an AYSO activity.
If any discretion is exercised in the application of this policy, it must be exercised in a uniform manner, so that substantially similar convictions and circumstances result in substantially similar treatment of potential volunteers. The CVPA or RC will be immediately notified when a negative determination is made, or if there are issues related to an application. The specific results leading to a negative determination must remain confidential unless the applicant is willing to reveal the results to the RC or CVPA.
Because of the serious implications to the entire AYSO organization, all regions, areas, and sections must comply with the decisions made by the Safe Haven™ Department of the NSTC under this policy.
TABLE OF CONVICTIONS (a partial list)
Violent Crimes & Serious Crimes Against a Person:
Less Serious Crimes Against a Person
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Battery w/ Firearm
- Armed Robbery
- Attempted Murder
- Child Abduction
- Child Pornography
- Cruelty to Animals
- Domestic Battery
- Endangering the Life or Health of a Child
- Exploitation of a Child
- Harboring a Runaway
- Hate Crime
- Home Invasion
- Hit and Run Causing Injury/Death
- Possession of explosives
- Preventing a 911 Call
- Reckless Homicide
- Second Degree Murder
- Solicitation for Murder
- Tampering w/Food or Drugs
- Threatening Public Officials
- Unlawful Restraint
- Vehicular Car Jacking
- Vehicular Endangerment
- Violation of Order of Protection
- Harassment of Jurors or Witnesses
- Involuntary Manslaughter
- Obscene Phone Calls
- Simple Assault
- Restraining Order
- Child Pornography
- Criminal Sexual Abuse
- Criminal Sexual Assault
- Criminal Transmission of HIV
- Distribution/Sale of Pornography to a Minor
- Indecent Exposure
- Indecent Solicitation of a Child
- Keeping a Place of Prostitution
- Lewd and Lascivious Behavior
- Public Indecency
- Sex with a Minor
- Sexual Exploitation of a Child
- Solicitation of a Sexual Act
- Bid Rigging
- Bid Rotating & Kickbacks
- Check Kiting
- Fencing of Stolen goods
- Industrial Espionage
- Interference with Public Contracts
- Money Laundering
- Misuse of Credit Card
- Possession of Burglary Tools
- Tax Evasion
- Theft of Intellectual Property
- Ticket Scalping
- Welfare Fraud
- Deceptive Sales
- Fraudulent Advertisement
- Insurance Fraud
- Mail and Wire Fraud
- Odometer Fraud
- Public Aid Fraud
Serious Substance Abuse Crimes:
- Abuse of Prescription Medicines
- Criminal Drug Conspiracy
- Distribution of Alcohol to Minors
- Illegal Transportation of Controlled Substances
- Possession of Marijuana, more than one ounce
- Possession of Illegal Substances
- Sale or Manufacture of Illegal Substances
Miscellaneous Substance Abuse Crimes
- Driving Under the Influence
- Drunk in Public
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Possession of Marijuana, less than one ounce
- Sale of Alcohol to a Minor
- Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm
- Concealing or Aiding a Fugitive
- Criminal Damage to Property
- Criminal Trespass
- Discrimination in Sale of Real Estate
- Disorderly Conduct
- Driving without a License
- Driving without Insurance
- Environmental Crimes
- Identity Switching
- Illegal Gambling
- Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer
- Unlawful Sale of Firearms
- Interference with Judicial Proceeding
- Obstructing Justice
- Legislative Misconduct
- Obscene Phone Calls
- Reckless Conduct
- Reckless Driving
- Repeated Traffic Offenses
- Tampering with Public Records
- Unlawful Possession of Weapons
- Unlawful Use of Body Armor
- Unlawful Use, Sale, or Discharge of a Metal Piercing Bullet
(The following letter is sent to any applicant, and only the applicant, if there are convictions that fall under the above criteria)
Notice of Duty to Review Criminal Record
October 13, 2004
Fist and Last Name
City, State Zip
Enclosed you will find a copy of your criminal history report obtained by the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO).
Pursuant to the laws of many states and in your own self-interest, you should review the record as soon as possible. Should you determine it is inaccurate or incomplete you are required to notify AYSO of such discrepancy within seven working days of your receipt of this letter.
For privacy protection, you should speak to Ellisa Hall at the AYSO National Support & Training Center. You may contact her during regular working hours, 8:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. Pacific Time, Monday - Friday at (800) 872-2976, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write her at 12501 S Isis, Hawthorne, CA 90250.
If the record is inaccurate, AYSO has a procedure for you to follow with the reporting agency to correct the information.
If the report is accurate, it is in the best interests of this organization that you not volunteer. If we fail to hear from you within seven days, we will contact your region with our final decision.
National Certification and Advocacy Administrator